Let's review some of the computer virus names that made headlines. Computer viruses have evolved with time and they become more sophisticated and powerful over the last few decades.
Viruses had made their presence felt even before PC users were introduced to GUI based apps and operating systems. In those days, viruses were spread mostly through floppy disks. Of all the computer viruses that hogged headlines in the early days of the PC boom, the Brain virus deserves a special mention.
Brain was possibly the first PC virus to use stealth mechanisms before the advent of GUI based operating systems and apps with Macro features. Since floppy disks were used to spread the infection from one PC to another, the spread of the virus was rather limited, and it took a long time for a particular virus to infect many systems. Brain, for example, was created in 1987 at the University of Delaware, possibly a year after its creation.
The Lehigh virus was so named since as it was created in Lehigh University in 1987. It affected an important Windows startup file named command.com, thus making an infected system unable to boot up.
Other computer virus names that became well-known in the 1980s include Jerusalem, Morris and Stoned. Among them, the Morris worm became notorious for its ability to exploit a number of vulnerabilities in the otherwise secure UNIX OS. It managed to affect a significant section of the internet before it was finally terminated.
Post the 1990s, creators of PC viruses stated resorting to newer stealth techniques to spread infections to a maximum number of PCs. At this time, a virus mutation engine was traced for the first time. The Michelangelo virus, one of the most infamous worms of the 1990s, was a boot sector and MBR infecting virus. It was so named because the virus attacked infected PCs on March 6, Michelangelo’s birth anniversary.
There are other computer virus names that made headlines in the 1990s, including the Tequila and Chameleon viruses. The latter was also known as V2P6, V2P2 and V2P1. These were the first strains of polymorphic PC viruses.
The impact of polymorphic PC viruses was so great that antivirus creators were forced to develop newer techniques of detecting malware. Some other notable polymorphic viruses that deserve a mention in this context include Trigger, Sandra, Predator, Moctezuma, Fly, Grog and Freddy.
After 1991, viruses that used advanced stealth methods and affected Windows startup files came to the forefront. One notable example is the Dedicated virus. Shifter appeared in 1994 and affected OBJ files. The first major live virus of all computer virus names was Concept, which appeared in 1995.
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